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At-home trends strong in India in December quarter: Coca Cola

A worker restocks a display of Coca-Cola Co. soft drinks at a store in Orem, Utah, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Coca Cola is scheduled to announce their fourth-quarter 2020 earnings tomorrow February 10. Coca-Cola Co.'s sales beat Wall Street's expectations in the fourth quarter, giving the soda maker a boost after nearly a year of global lockdowns at restaurants, amusement parks and stadiums that have disrupted its business. Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg (Bloomberg)Premium
A worker restocks a display of Coca-Cola Co. soft drinks at a store in Orem, Utah, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Coca Cola is scheduled to announce their fourth-quarter 2020 earnings tomorrow February 10. Coca-Cola Co.'s sales beat Wall Street's expectations in the fourth quarter, giving the soda maker a boost after nearly a year of global lockdowns at restaurants, amusement parks and stadiums that have disrupted its business. Photographer: George Frey/Bloomberg (Bloomberg)

  • In the Asia pacific region, unit case volume for the beverage maker declined 4% during the quarter, primarily due to adverse weather in Southeast Asia, the company said
  • Through early February 2021, the company has experienced a volume decline of mid-single digits globally, Coca Cola said

New Delhi: The Coca-Cola Company on Wednesday reported “solid growth" in sparkling soft drinks volumes in China and India during the fourth quarter of 2020 and said that in-home trends in India were strong with signs of recovery in out-of-home sales.

In the Asia pacific region, unit case volume for the beverage maker declined 4% during the quarter, primarily due to adverse weather in Southeast Asia along with coronavirus-related pressure in away-from-home channels in most markets in the region, the company said in its full year earnings release.

“Volume performance included solid growth in sparkling soft drinks in China and India," it added.

In its post-earnings call the company’s top management said countries are at different stages of recovery in the Asia Pacific region. “In China, we are indeed emerging stronger, thanks to our strategic actions...In India challenges remain but at-home trends were strong, and we saw signs of recovery in away-from-home channels through the holidays," James Quincey, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company said in earnings call on Wednesday.

For the three months ended 31 December 2020 the company’s global net revenues declined 5% to $8.6 billion, while global unit case volume was down 3%.

The lockdown in India crushed sales of fizzy and still drinks, especially during the peak summer season.

Out-of-home consumption of drinks is key for beverage makers here. Many beverage makers tried to move consumption in-home through small and family packs. The category has however been witnessing month on month recovery.

PepsiCo’s local bottler in India, Varun Beverages, is set to announce its December quarter earnings later this month.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola continued to see improvement in global trends compared to previous quarters.

The beverage major said that global unit case volume trends remain closely linked to consumer mobility and the health of away-from-home channels.

In fact, a resurgence of covid-cases in several countries impacted volumes in December and early part of the current year. “While volume trends have broadly remained resilient amidst the continuing uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the company experienced incremental pressure in December and into the early part of this year due to a resurgence of the coronavirus in many parts of the world. Through early February 2021, the company has experienced a volume decline of mid-single digits globally, with continued elevated levels of sales in at-home channels being more than offset by pressure in away-from-home channels," the company said.

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